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7 Surprising Reasons Your Dog Flips His Bed Over

Last Updated: December 10, 2023

We all know that dogs have unique behaviors and quirks that often leave us wondering about their underlying reasons. One such behavior is the habit of flipping their beds over. While it might seem innocuous, there could be more to it than meets the eye.

There are several reasons why your dog may be flipping their bed over, ranging from instinctual behaviors to medical issues. Some examples are nesting behavior, attention-seeking behavior, marking territory, copying your actions, joint pain or arthritis, or environmental factors.

Understanding the underlying causes of this seemingly simple behavior can help you provide better care for your furry friend and create a more comfortable environment for them. Let’s delve deeper into why your dog flips their bed over.

Cockapoo In Bed With Toy. Why Does My Dog Flip His Bed Over?

Why Does My Dog Flip His Bed Over?

1. Copying Your Actions

Dogs are known to be social animals, and they often mimic their owners’ behavior. 

This includes copying their actions and movements, which is why you may have noticed your dog flip his bed over just like you flip your pillows. 

This behavior can be a way for dogs to bond with their owners and feel more connected to them.

When dogs mimic their owners, it can also signify affection and admiration. They may see their owners as role models and want to emulate their behavior. 

Flipping their bed over could allow them to imitate your actions and show you that they’re paying attention to what you’re doing.

It’s important to note that not all dogs will mimic their owners’ behavior, and some may do it more than others. 

However, if you notice your dog copying your actions, it’s a sign that he’s closely observing and engaging with you. 

This can be a great opportunity to strengthen your bond with your furry friend and show him extra love and attention.

2. Marking Territory

When dogs mark their territory, they leave their scent on objects to communicate that this area or object is theirs. 

They use glands in their paws, faces, and anus to leave their scent on objects or areas…….and sometimes urine! 

Flipping their bed over can be a way for dogs to mark their territory, leaving their scent on the bed and creating a unique space. It can also be a way for dogs to show dominance over their territory. 

By marking their bed this way, they assert their dominance and communicate to other animals that this space belongs to them. 

This behavior is particularly common in male dogs, who tend to be more territorial than females.

If you notice your dog flipping his bed over, it may be a sign that he’s trying to mark his territory. 

While this behavior is normal and natural, ensuring your dog doesn’t become too aggressive or territorial is important, as this can lead to behavioral problems.

Mixed Breed Dog on Bed

3. Medical Issues

Dogs with medical issues, such as joint pain or arthritis, may flip their bed to find a more comfortable position.

When dogs have joint pain or arthritis, finding a comfortable sleeping position can be difficult. They may flip their bed over to relieve pressure on their joints and find a more comfortable position. 

If you notice your dog doing this frequently, it may be a sign that he’s in pain and needs some extra care and attention.

Fortunately, there are ways to help dogs with joint pain and arthritis. 

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know that my senior German Shepherd has spinal arthritis, so I have experience caring for a dog with this condition.

Let me tell you this…

In a clinical study by the University of Pennsylvania, dog owners reported that the Big Barker Bed reduced joint pain and stiffness, improved joint function and gait, and led to enhanced nighttime restfulness in large dogs with arthritis. It can also help to prevent these issues in the first place.

This is why my dog uses this bed. I can also sleep better knowing she is comfortable at night.

If your dog struggles with joint pain or arthritis, investing in a high-quality, supportive bed may help him feel more comfortable and sleep better.

4. Seeking Attention

Some dogs are social butterflies and love spending time with you. If you’re sitting on the couch and notice your dog flipping his bed repeatedly, you might just think it’s random behavior. However, it could also be a sign of your dog seeking attention.

Dogs are smart creatures who know how to get what they want. They’re distracting you and getting your attention by flipping their bed over. 

It’s like they’re saying, “Hey, look at me! I’m doing something cool!” And honestly, it usually works. 

You can’t help but laugh and give your pup some extra attention when they start flipping their bed over. 

If you notice your dog doing it excessively and trying to get your attention, it may be a sign that he feels neglected. Dogs are social creatures, and they thrive on human interaction. 

So, if your dog is flipping his bed over, spending extra time playing with him or taking him for a walk might be a good idea.

Dog Hiding Under Bed Covers

5. Coolness

If you live in a hot climate, know firsthand how uncomfortable sleeping in a warm bed can be. (Living in the UK, I don’t have this problem!).

It turns out that your dog feels the same way!

You may notice that during the summer months, he’ll flip his bed over to sleep on the cooler underside of the bed.

Dogs regulate their body temperature by panting and sweating through their paw pads. Their bodies must work harder to keep them cool when it’s hot outside. 

“By flipping their bed over, they’re creating a cooler surface to sleep on, which helps them regulate their body temperature and stay comfortable.” 

World of Dogz

It’s a smart move, and I can’t say that I blame them for wanting to sleep on the cooler side of the bed.

Even if you live in a cooler area, your dog may still seek out the cooler underside of the bed on warm nights. 

If you notice your dog flipping his bed over during the summer months, it’s a sign that he’s trying to stay cool and comfortable. 

Consider investing in a cooling mat or other products to help him beat the heat and get a good night’s sleep.

6. Environmental Factors

Our furry friends are very wise to their environment. They pick up on things that we might not even notice, and sometimes, they react unexpectedly. 

One such reaction is flipping their bed over, which can signify their discomfort with their environment.

There are a few reasons why dogs might flip their bed over in response to their environment. 

For example, they might be bothered by a strong smell or noise that’s coming from the area where they’re sleeping. 

By flipping their bed over, they’re trying to create a barrier between themselves and the source of the smell or noise. This behavior can also be a way for them to feel more in control of their environment, which can help reduce their anxiety.

Another reason why dogs might flip their bed over in response to their environment is that they’re trying to create a more comfortable sleeping space. 

If their bed is positioned in a way that makes them feel exposed or vulnerable, they may flip it over to create a more enclosed space. 

This can make them feel safer and more secure, which can help them sleep more soundly. 

Overall, if you notice your dog flipping his bed over, it’s worth looking at his environment to see if any factors could be causing him discomfort.

Dog Nesting In Bed

7. Nesting

I’ve had the pleasure of being around a few pregnant dogs in my lifetime, and one behavior that always stands out to me is their nesting behavior. 

It’s quite common for pregnant dogs to scratch or flip their dog bed and move the bedding to a different spot. This is normal canine behavior and nothing to be concerned about.

Nesting is an instinctual behavior that pregnant dogs display as they prepare for the arrival of their puppies. They want to create a safe and comfortable space for their babies to be born and grow in, and flipping their bed over or moving the bedding around is a way for them to do this. 

It’s a sign that they’re getting ready for the big day and excited about their new puppies’ arrival.

As a dog owner, providing your pregnant dog with a comfortable and secure space to nest in is essential. 

Ensure her bed is in a quiet, low-traffic area where she can feel safe and secure. You can also provide her with extra blankets and bedding to move around and nest with. 

By creating a comfortable and welcoming environment, you’ll help your pregnant dog feel more relaxed and confident as she prepares for the arrival of her new puppies.


Should I Stop My Dog From Flipping His Bed?

There’s no need to stop your dog from flipping his bed unless he is doing it aggressively. It’s okay if your dog is seeking comfort, marking his territory, or adjusting to his environment.

Is It Normal For My Dog To Flip His Bed Over Repeatedly?

It’s normal for dogs to flip their bed over repeatedly. Dogs may flip their bed over to seek comfort, mark their territory, seek attention, or adjust to their environment.

Sharon Waddington
Sharon Waddington is the founder of World of Dogz. With over 30 years of experience working with dogs, this former Police Officer has seen it all. But it’s her trusty German Shepherd, Willow, who steals the show as the inspiration behind this website. As Sharon’s constant companion Willow has played a pivotal role in shaping her passion for dogs. Recently, Sharon has become deeply passionate about the plight of rescue dogs and is an active advocate for dog rescue, striving to make a difference in the lives of dogs in need.

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